2021 Area Duals: The Adrenaline Match That Could Change It All


Ford Jones, Junior, warming up before his match

Isabelle Espy, Staff Writer

The pressure is on, and the crisp breath of challenge chills the spines of the Armuchee Indians wrestling team as Area duals approach. The true meaning of “team” shows in the Indians as they work together to qualify for State matches later in the season. The adrenaline of the senior class pulses through everyone’s veins with mixed emotions of fear and responsibility. But, with help from uplifting and positive coaches, Armuchee Indian’s finest wrestlers will make it through the strenuous weekend ahead.

With any sport, there is fear. Fear of losing. Fear of failing. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of letting others down. But fear shows you have something to lose, something to protect and something of which to be prou. According to Coach Dustin Powell, Armuchee High School wrestling coach, “I feel like our wrestlers are in the right place mentally going into area duals. They are challenged every day in practice and are some of the toughest, if not the toughest kids in the school.” However, when Joey Green, Senior and five-year participant was asked about the pressure felt to represent his program going into Area he said, “I don’t reallyfeel pressure, but I feel more excited to represent our school. Powell and Green both recognize the fear of going into a big meet such as Area, but they chose to stay confident in themselves and their team in order to succeed and come out victorious.

Another reason emotions are running high is due to the number of senior responsibilities. With any sport, you want to leave everything on the field, court, or mat, and wrestling is no different. Joey Green said, “I’m very excited (about area), but also a bit sad that it is my last. I just want to go and leave everything on the mat..” This makes an impression on younger generations and teammates watching. Caleb Hammond, Senior and 5-year participant said, “Since this is my last Area Duals and subsequent dual season, I want it to be successful. I want to go to state duals again because we haven’t done that since my freshman year. It’s my last year and I want to make the most of it.” Another bond being left behind in high school wrestling would be the bond between the seniors. Hammond describes it as pretty tight. He said, “We’ve been wrestling together nonstop for four years and some of us before in middle school. We’ve grown together and sharpened one another, and we want to watch each other succeed.” 

Parting Words from Seniors Green & Hammond:

With seniority comes the oh-so-sad parting words. Joey Green said, “My high school wouldn’t have been the same without wrestling. Without my coaches, I wouldn’t be the same man I am right now. This sport means everything to me, and I’m sad that it is coming to an end. But, I have learned a lot and I’ll always love it.”

Caleb Hammond, however, says his parting words to his team would be about legacy. He said, “It’s been a good four years, and y’all have been some great teammates. Keep up the legacy and show everyone what you’re made of. To Coach Powell and Coach Spota: thanks for all the time you’ve invested in my success in this sport. You’ve pushed me to be better and give my all, and your leadership has been exceptional.” Although these wrestlers are leaving high school and the sport they love, both will never forget the impression coaches and teammates have left on their lives. They will share the lessons learned with others and become mentors themselves. 

The Armuchee Wrestling team emerged a bit short in Area Duals, but victorious none-the-less, and will move on to State Qualifiers in February.